One would think that any race with Michele Bachmann in it would be bizarre. But who would have thought that a Michele Bachmann race without Michele Bachmann in it would be even more bizarre.
After the far, far right Rep. Bachmann (R-Mars) surprisingly dropped out of the 2014 race for her Congressional seat on Thursday, the very next day her opponent Jim Graves -- who had come within 1.2% of defeating her last year -- himself dropped out of the race.
It was pretty difficult for one's first reaction to be, "Say what??!" And then, drenched in sarcasm, "Well, there's someone who's heart was really all about being in Congress."
But on reading the statement he released to the press, it becomes more intriguing, that perhaps his heart really wasn't ever in being elected to Congress, but rather just doing his best to make sure that Michele Bachmann wasn't elected to Congress.
"After meeting with my closest family members, friends and supporters, we have decided to suspend Jim Graves for Congress indefinitely. This was never about Jim Graves; this was about challenging the ineffective leadership and extremist ideology of Michele Bachmann on behalf of those she represents. As of Wednesday, that goal was accomplished -- and our supporters are and should be incredibly proud of that accomplishment. I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude for the tireless work of our fantastic campaign team and our legions of friends and supporters."
One the one hand, I can't say that running for Congress when you really aren't all that interested in being in Congress is an admirable position. It's too important a job. On the other hand, doing something you don't especially want to do -- and on such a high, public level -- because you believe in a greater good...that is pretty admirable.
The shame is that it seems there would be a good chance Mr. Graves would have been elected, and every Democratic seat in Congress is critical -- and this would have been a pick-up. But perhaps Ms. Bachmann tarnished the GOP brand enough that even in that Republican district the next Democrat will be able to win regardless.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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